Basic flash kit for Leica M3?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tom leoni, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. I am looking for advice about a basic flash kit for my Leica M3. I
    have used the camera for a while in natural light (50mm and 90mm
    objectives), and I would like to have a very basic flash for the
    extra flexibility it affords. By basic I mean something as light and
    unobtrusive as possible (for now) that will allow me to take more
    indoor photographs and perhaps even do some simple fill-in work

    However, I have absolutely no idea about what to get - I am an
    amateur and not quite up to the photog lingo that sometimes my more
    experienced friends surprise me with.

    What do I need in terms of product (including what it is and what it
    does) and perhaps even brand recommendations? I appreciate any help
    you can give me in this regard.

    Many thanks

  2. PS:

    I forgot to mention that in my search for this topic I found out that the Vivitar 283 unit may be an option, although I found the bit about the connection a tad confusing (my shortcoming as a novice, I'm sure, not the posters' lack of clarity).
  3. Very rarely do I use flash at all, but for those situations where it is matter of whether I get the image or not, I keep a small Honeywell flash that I paid a few bucks for several years ago. It is a bit larger than a pack of cigarettes and fits easily in one of the slots in my camera case. It provides enough light to get an acceptable image at a party or gathering where natural lighting isn't available. Other than that it has proven effective and reliable every time it has been called upon. It is best used on the Leica CTOOM flash bracket which reduces the red-eye problem. It will fit in the accessory shoe of most Leicas if a bracket isn't available. Of course if an auxiliary finder is in use, the off-camera mode is necessary.
  4. First off, just so you're prepared and don't injure yourself when you fall down laughing, some of these blokes round here think it's some sort of religious heresy to mount a flash on a Leica.

    Next off, Leica in their infinite arrogance, tried to get on with their own proprietary flash connection, which was soundly rejected and when they abandoned their antiquated wind-on and re-wind in the M4 (as an aside, they regressed recently in deference to the collectors who now represent their majority customers), also incoporated the world-standard PC connector. Thus to use a flash on the M3 you are faced with two possibilities, one being an adaptor which protrudes several mm into your forehead, and the other being the fitment of a standard coaxial connector by a trained repairman.

    As to the type of flash, most any will do nicely. Do look for one which has not only a hot-shoe but which allows fitment of a connector cord, else you'll need yet another adaptor.
  5. There are two things to consider in looking for a flash for your M3 - it does not have a hot shoe and does not use a standard pc flash cord connector. There are adaptors available for the flash cord but they may not be easy to find. If you want to mount the flash on the camera use a bracket since the clip on the top will short the contacts on most clip-on units.
  6. Adapters for the M3 socket to PC are all over Ebay & God only knows where else!
  7. Just don't poke your eye with that socket adapter...
  8. and add one of these if your flash doesn't have facility for a PC cable!
  9. The posts above have pretty well covered the essentials. Just leave the adapter with the flash cord and the M3 socket covered with the plastic cap when not using the flash. No need to leave the adapter on the camera.
  10. Vivtar 2800:*&bhs=t&shs=vivitar+2800&image.x=7&image.y=11
  11. They're still making the 2800? I've had one for years, bought used for $5. I haven't used in years either.
  12. Thank you so much, everyone. I really appreciate your taking the time to share what you know with a newbie (which is not always fun).

    I ended up getting the following:

    ~ Vivitar 283 flash unit
    ~ Vivitar 283 synch cord
    ~ Adaptor for M3 socket to PC

    Luckily they were all available from the same vendor and they were all in great condition, so that spared me a lot of scrounging around.

    Again, thank you all so much.

  13. "Just don't poke your eye with that socket adapter.." <p> Just fit the adapter on the end of the flash cord instead of on the camera.
  14. Always have a spare cord handy. You never know when a synch cord will stop working.
  15. AL; synch cords are always working. They just like to cause a ruckus with folks when they play games playing dead! :)

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